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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2006 Oct 1;43(2):239-46.

Bathhouse-based voluntary counseling and testing is feasible and shows preliminary evidence of effectiveness.

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Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA.


The goal of this study was to provide evidence for the feasibility and effectiveness of conducting voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) for HIV in a bathhouse setting. Four hundred ninety-two men participated in bathhouse-based VCT offered at a single venue over a 13-month period. A convenience sample of 133 of these testers was assessed at 2 points: immediately before and 3 months after testing. Thirty-eight percent of men in the sample reported unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with 1 of their 2 most recent partners in the 3 months before testing, and 48% of those men had not otherwise been tested for HIV in the previous 12 months. Results showed that in the months after VCT, men were less likely to engage in UAI, decreased their frequency of engaging in sex while drunk or high, and were more likely to communicate about HIV with their sexual partners. Bathhouse-based VCT seems to be a feasible approach for reaching significant numbers of men at risk for HIV and shows preliminary evidence of effectiveness in changing some specific HIV-related risk and precautionary behaviors.

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